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The Fear of Growing Old

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Do you ever realize how badly you’re going to miss a moment while you’re living it? Like, ‘Wow, these are the good days. I am here and I am happy and I feel alive.’ They say that when you’re about to die, your life flashes before your eyes. All of your memories, all of your experiences, all of your friends and family, everything. You get one last glimpse into the life you led. What was your life like? Are you happy with the way things turned out or would you want a do over on certain things? Ultimately, people are happy with the choices they made. They lived their life how they wanted to and they wouldn’t change a thing. But I have a question for you. In all the years you have been on this earth, did you ever have a fear of growing old? The fear of another birthday or losing a loved one? This is something that crosses my mind often. It is not a constant nag in my brain, more so just always there at the back of my mind to say “hey, don’t forget I’m back here”. There are a lot of things that go along with the fear of getting older that you just cannot control.

Working in a nursing home has made me be more cautious about how I’m living my life. My residents often have pictures of themselves hung in their rooms from when they were young. A lot of the time, I get to hear the stories about how they lived their lives and they are so eager to tell you and let you in to know what it was like. They tell me where they lived and what school they went to or how they met their significant other and raised a family. It is a wonderful thing watching their faces light up as they talk about their life and their family. They never complain about being old and no longer being able to do the things they used do. Instead, they focus on all of the good things that happened during their lifetime. Acceptance comes with age.

No matter how long we dwell on the fear of aging, it is never going to change. You are going to get old, it is inevitable. It will eventually happen. Time will pass, the sun will continue to set and rise, and flowers will bloom and wilt. Life will still go on, no matter how we choose to look at the outcome of it. And you need to realize you aren’t the only person in this world growing older. Everyone else is growing older too. Every physical being living on this planet. 

So instead of sitting there, scared with fear, embrace it. Embrace that growing older is a part of life. Embrace that you are going to get wrinkles, that your physical body is going to deteriorate, and that you will eventually die. Rather than fight it, accept that it’s going to happen. When you come to terms with this, your viewpoint shifts. Because now, instead of trapping yourself with negative thoughts and fears, you start to focus on more important things. Instead of thinking what you could or should have done before, you think about what you can do now. Instead of devoting time to things out of your control, you can focus on the things that really matter. Instead of living an illusion that it just won’t happen, you start living your life in the present.

Don’t wake up one day only to regret having missed out on so many things in life. Don’t miss out on all the wonderful things that are out there in your life now, because you are too busy fearing something you cannot control. Don’t fear growing older now, only to look back later in life and regret not having lived life the way you wanted. Once you start doing that, you will truly be living life to the fullest.


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